Jeff Koopersmith replies to a campaign appeal from Sen. Barack Obama's wife.
Thank you for your letter of 25 January, 2008! I can't contribute to Barack right now because we at American Politics Journal have not endorsed anyone for president and I owe our readers that respect.
However, here's some complimentary advice: stop whining.
You write that "another candidate's spouse has been getting an awful lot of attention." Do you mean Bill Clinton? Well, what did you expect? Bill Clinton, especially in hindsight, looks like the Second Coming compared to the moron now sitting in the Oval Office.
Then you say you knew that Barack would be competing with Senator Clinton and former President Clinton. So what's your beef?
And give us a break: how on earth, after being in politics for such a long time yourselves, did you two lovebirds not expect "the win-at-all-costs tactics" you claim to have seen recently?
Let me tell you, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
Lovely Michelle, you must understand that American politics at the presidential level is not a Girl Scout cello competition or an Olympic Sport without drug abuse. It is a double-crossing race for who will be the most powerful individual on earth, at least until China eclipses the USA.
While Barack is not relying on a former President to campaign for him, yet he may well do so in the future. Even if not, he has already enlisted some far more powerful allies. Can you say Oprah? Oprah Winfrey is far more powerful that any tired old former president, believe me.
And yes, Barack is relying on hundreds of thousands of people who are giving whatever they can afford – but then, so was Dennis Kucinich, and look where he is now: buried in the graveyard of presidential campaign history.
By the way – I am not sure that everyone believes Barack had "unwavering opposition to the war in Iraq," and I have to tell you: everyone running supports women's rights – especially women. Can you say "Hillary"? So I wouldn't count on that one for any stunning pickup in support.
I'm not sure which "disingenuous attacks and smear tactics" you speak of, but believe me: these assaults do not "turn people off from the political process" as you write. In fact, it's just the opposite: people are animals. They love to see destruction in any form. The group you speak of? Well, they just don't exist in large numbers and are usually in mental hospitals suffering from something along the lines of bipolar disorder.
Americans, perhaps sadly, just adore a fight – and the dirtier, the better!
Also, let me point out that although I love your husband and am consider supporting him myself, you don't do any good for yourselves by pretending that Hillary having Bill in her corner isn't fair. Neither do you benefit from talking trash like, "It's time for a new kind of leadership and a new kind of politics in our party and in our country," or "I'll put my faith in a movement of a whole lot of people who are ready for change."
Geez Louise – that's pathetic claptrap, and you know it.
It is far better, in America, to put your faith in huge multinational corporations and labor unions – although unions seem pretty ineffective these days (see Barack in Nevada).
Remember this simple fact, Michelle: MONEY IS THE MOTHER'S MILK OF POLITICS – little else is, and I don't mean $25 or $50 contributions. I mean M-O-N-E-Y!
Also, I must point out that Barack also has other – very powerful – backers who act as his surrogates and financiers either directly or indirectly.
Can you say "Jesse Jackson" or "almost president John Kerry?" I might remind you that his wife is a billionaire, Michelle! Or what about Senator Patrick Leahy? I could go on, but my intent is not to embarrass you, but to help.
Put it this way: you can try and raise $10 million bucks from 400,000 different poor folks who might contribute $25 to Barack – or you could call Bernadette "Cash" Budde at the Business Industry Political Action Committee [BIPAC]. I've watched Budde from afar for thirty years. She's a dealmaker and a heartbreaker. Maybe you can get on her good side. Her email is email@example.com and I can assure you, she can, with a single word – like, say, "OBAMA!" – direct tens of millions in contributions, even legal ones, to your campaign.
Telephone her this afternoon.
What I'm trying to say Michelle is this: if you want to play in the dirt you have to get dirty.
Anyway, I'm sure Barack will get another shot in 2012 or 2016. He's a brilliant young guy and full of promise.
What's your hurry?
American Politics Journal
Here is the e-mail to which Jeff Koopersmith responded:
We knew getting into this race that Barack would be competing with Senator Clinton and President Clinton at the same time.
We expected that Bill Clinton would tout his record from the nineties and talk about Hillary's role in his past success. That's a fair approach and a challenge we are prepared to face.
What we didn't expect, at least not from our fellow Democrats, are the win-at-all-costs tactics we've seen recently. We didn't expect misleading accusations that willfully distort Barack's record.
Barack Obama isn't relying on a former President of the United States to campaign for him.
He's relying on us — you, me, and hundreds of thousands of people like us who are giving whatever they can afford to support this movement.
Please stand up in the face of these new attacks. Make your first online donation of $50 today and own a piece of this campaign:
Barack's unwavering opposition to the war in Iraq, his outspoken support of women's rights, and his call for leadership that will transform our party and our country have all been mischaracterized in the past two weeks.
We've seen disingenuous attacks and smear tactics turn people off from the political process for too long, and enough is enough.
It's time for a change. It's time for a new kind of leadership and a new kind of politics in our party and in our country.
And while Senator Clinton has a former president in her corner, I'll put my faith in a movement of a whole lot of people who are ready for change.
South Carolina votes in 48 hours, and more than 20 states will make their voices heard in less than two weeks on February 5th. Now is the time for all of us to step up and take personal responsibility for making change happen.
Please make your first online donation of $50 now:
Jeff Koopersmith is a political consultant, opinion research authority, policy analyst, and self-described "renegade lobbyist." He lives in Philadelphia, Washington and Geneva.